Love and Olive Oil

Spaghetti with Fresh Soppressata

Spaghetti with Fresh Soppressata

Apparently we have quite the reputation in our building.

We’re the stinky neighbors.

We’ve been told that sometimes, when we’re cooking something extra fragrant, you can smell it as soon as you step off the elevator. It only gets stronger as you go down the hall. Cookies, cupcakes, chicken broth, homemade bread… I can only imagine.

I’m surprised we don’t get more random knocks at the door, hoping that we’ve got extra.

That’s ok though, I’d much rather be the stinky neighbors than the noisy neighbors (and we have our fair share of noisy neighbors). Oh the joys of communal living.

I’m sure this particular dish drove our neighbors crazy. Whenever you’ve got pork and onion and fennel simmering away, there’s no stopping the wonderful smells from wafting where they will.

We managed to score some fresh local italian sausage, sold in bulk (ie: not in the casings), which was perfect for this dish. It made for an incredibly rich and robust sauce, that was surprisingly delicate at the same time. Perfectly spiced, and lovingly simmered until the flavors were happily entwined.

Maybe next time we’ll share with the neighbors.

Spaghetti with Fresh Soppressata

Makes 6 servings. Recipe from Food & Wine.

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4 garlic cloves
1 1/3 cups dry white wine
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
One 28-ounce can plus one 14-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed, with their liquid
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


In a blender, puree the garlic with 1/3 cup of the white wine. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Add the sausage, fennel, black pepper and crushed red pepper and knead lightly to combine. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.

In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the sausage mixture and cook over high heat, breaking up lumps with a spoon, until lightly browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup of wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and their juices to the pan and season lightly with salt. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 5 cups, about 40 minutes.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti until just al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss with the grated cheese, basil and parsley. Add the reserved cooking water and toss the pasta over moderately high heat, until nicely coated, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

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  1. can’t wait to try this! 

  2. hi guys, guess what! I was at work yesturday wondering what shall I cook for dinner, by the way I love cooking, and a self proclaimed foodie- so I was looking over my pinterest,just searching all over, and came across your site, and found a pasta dish called (spaghetti sopressa) well I made it! Oh my goodness!!!!! is it good!! I had lot of the stuff it ask for in the recipe,since I cook. this recipe is the best spaghetti recipe so far that I’ve gotten-goodness we were all stuffed, and still brought more to work today for lunch, better hide and eat, otherwise my coworkerswill eat some, and not leave much-Lol….thanks for sharing your recipe

  3. Your spaghetti looks perfectly sauced. A nice coating so the spaghetti stays in the forefront and not drowning in the sauce.

  4. Looks sooo delicious. I bake a lot of bread and I know that I’m the smelly neighbour :D

  5. I don’t think anyone would begrudge you the lovely scent of this wafting down the hall. Maybe you should be called the fragrant neighbors, or the neighbors everyone is jealous of.

  6. I love pasta/spaghetti so much. looks really tasty.

  7. i was so excited when i saw soppressata (cured/dry italian salami), but disappointed you used italian sausage…I’m confused by the title and a little saddened…

    • Hey, I just followed the recipe. Guessing they assumed most folks wouldn’t be able to find the real stuff, and could recreate much of the same flavors with a more commonly available ingredient, perhaps? Call it what you will, but it was delicious. :)

  8. I remember my grandmother’s apartment building in Brooklyn smelling of so many things!

    Now, my own home smells of cooking most all the time. What could be better or more soothing?

  9. Looks wondeful! May I ask where you found the bulk sausage? I am in Nashville as well.

    • Emerald Glen – they have a stand at the Farmers’ Market some weekends, not sure their exact schedule. But it’s good stuff!

  10. If I had this in front of me I definitely wouldn’t be sharing!

  11. I could dive right into this!!! Looks so good!! And by the way, I’m sure we’re “stinky” neighbors too. We’re always cooking and baking, and if the smell of garlic isn’t oozing out our doors, then is the smell of fresh baked bread. Who wouldn’t love that!

    Many of our neighbors are from India, and we love coming home from work, smelling the curries as we start walking up our stairs. It’s such a wonderful thing to smell those beautiful aromas coming from their kitchens! It makes us feel so contented! :)

  12. This is a good stink! :) Looks divine!

  13. Yes yes, much rather be the stinky neighbors than then “wee hours of the morning domestic dispute” neighbors. LOL

    For what it’s worth, all my neighbors from my old apartment said they always could smell my cooking as well!

  14. Stinky? Don’t they mean ‘gorgeous-smelling’?
    The pasta looks great. The picture is so beautiful.

  15. I love pasta with sausage, I think it adds so much richness to the sauce… and so much flavor!

  16. This looks heavenly!

  17. Its so attractive and I just wanna eat it now :)

  18. This sounds so wonderful I am sure I have been knocking on your door. Thanks for the recipe!

  19. This could only smell delicious, never stinky!

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